Lately I’ve been looking into alternative cell phone solutions to help people save money on their crazy high cell phone bills.
Most recently I’ve been trying out Ting, a carrier that charges you only for the minutes, text messages and data that you use each month.
I’m happy to say that the results look promising for those that want to save a ton of money on their cell phone bill and aren’t heavy cell phone users.
I’m also excited to announce that I’ve gotten together with Ting and secured a deal just for Money Manifesto readers.
If you sign up through the links on this page, you’ll get a $25 Ting credit to get you started!
How Ting Saves You Money
After paying the flat $6 per device monthly fee, you’ll only add on the services you use each month in order to come to your payment amount.
Ting charges you for minutes, text messages and data separately. As of this writing, the charges for minutes are as follows:
- No usage – $0 per month
- 1 to 100 minutes – $3 per month
- 101 to 500 minutes – $9 per month
- 501 to 1,000 minutes – $18 per month
- 1,001 to 2,100 minutes – $35 per month
- 2,101+ minutes – $35 per month + 1.9 cents per minute.
The charges for text messages are as follows:
- No messages – $0 per month
- 1 to 100 messages – $3 per month
- 101 to 1,000 messages – $5 per month
- 1,000 to 2,000 messages – $8 per month
- 2,001 to 4,800 messages – $11 per month
- 4,801+ messages – $11 per month + 1/4 cent per text message
The charges for data are as follows:
- No usage – $0 per month
- 1 to 100 MB – $3 per month
- 101 to 500 MB – $12 per month
- 501 to 1,000 MB – $19 per month
- 1,001 to 2,000 MB – $29 per month
- 2,001+ MB – $29 per month + 1.5 cents per MB
As you can see, Ting only charges you for what you use. If you only use 75 minutes, use no data (thanks to Wi-Fi) and send all of your texts through a Wi-Fi only app, you’ll only pay $9 plus taxes and regulatory fees per month.
Of course, you can take any combination of minutes, text messages and data per month to come up with what your normal usage would be to see what your cell phone bill would cost with Ting.
Chances are, if you aren’t a heavy user and use Wi-Fi whenever possible, your bill will be lower with Ting than with the big cell phone companies like AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.
You do have to pay extra if you travel and use your phone outside the USA, make international calls, or use directory assistance. You’ll have to pay taxes and regulatory fees as well, just like with any other cell phone.
How Ting Works
Ting is what is called a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which basically means Ting pays Sprint to use their network for their cell service.
Instead of selling you huge chunks of minutes, text messages and data that you may never use, Ting only charges you for what you actually use.
They don’t rely on low usage subscribers to pay for their data hogs. Instead, they charge everyone exactly what they should pay for their service.
Ting doesn’t tie you into a contract, either.
Instead of signing two year contracts or setting up a payment plan for a new phone, simply bring your own Sprint network compatible device or purchase a Ting compatible phone to get started.
Don’t know if your phone is compatible? Use the Ting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) tool to find out if your phone can be used with Ting.
Another way Ting saves you money is by not building the price of your smartphone into a contract like other carriers do.
If you just want a simple phone and don’t care about upgrading your phone, you can save even more money by buying a lower end device and not upgrading your device every two years.
Of course, if you want a newer phone, you can bring almost any Sprint compatible phone released more than one year ago to Ting and even some newly released phones.
Ting’s coverage is the exact same as Sprint’s coverage, just at a lower cost. Check out their coverage map here if you’re not sure how good your Sprint/Ting coverage is in your area.
Personally, where I am, Ting has one of the faster data networks and decent cell phone coverage, especially considering the awesome monthly price.
Switching To Ting
If you’re ready to switch to Ting and start saving money, you might wonder how it works.
Well, you’ll either need to bring your own Sprint network compatible device or buy a new or used Sprint compatible device to get started. Ting offers many great options through their website, so make sure you check out your device options.
After that, simply activate your new Ting phone and you’ll be on your way. You can also transfer your number if you wish.
If you want to switch to Ting today but are currently stuck in a contract, Ting can help defray some of your early termination fee (ETF) costs. Currently, Ting will reimburse you for 25% of your ETF up to $75 in Ting credit.
You can even claim this credit multiple times if you have multiple lines you’re be switching to Ting. After you’ve signed up and activated your device, just fill out some paper work and send them your final bill with your ETF on it and they’ll reimburse you with a Ting credit!
Ting also offers another program that could save you some money if you don’t currently have a Sprint compatible device. After you buy a new device or used device and activate it on Ting you’ll need to get rid of your old device.
Simply sell it through Glyde for cash and Ting will give you an extra 30% of the selling price in Ting credit! There are some rules to follow, but you can learn more about the program here .
Between the ETF assistance and the 30% extra Ting credit for selling your old phone through Glyde, Ting makes it easier to switch even if you don’t have a compatible device or you’re still stuck in a contract.
Cell Phone Options
Currently you can choose from a very wide variety of phones with Ting, as long as they’re compatible with the Sprint network.
While you can’t currently get the latest and greatest iPhone, you can get the Samsung Galaxy S5 (latest release as of this review) among many other awesome cell phones.
You do have to pay full price for the phone, but you can pick up a slightly used version cheaper if you’d like!
Drawbacks of Ting
As with any service, Ting isn’t perfect. The Sprint network doesn’t have the most awesome coverage everywhere in the United States but it works just fine where I live.
Keep in mind that you’ll be saving a TON of money by switching to Ting, so even if your Sprint coverage is a little bit worse it might be worth saving that money every month.
Another drawback of Ting is you can’t get the latest iPhone. I’m not a device snob though, so it really doesn’t affect me much.
The final drawback of Ting is the fact you have to pay full price for your phones up front which can be too expensive for some people. Since Ting doesn’t offer contracts, they can’t spread the cost of the phone out over your contract.
However, at the same time Ting saves you money by doing this because you aren’t paying for the newest phone in your contract even if you get an older cheaper phone.
Should You Switch To Ting?
I think Ting makes a lot of sense for a majority of cell phone users. If you aren’t a heavy user of minutes, texts and data, Ting can save you a ton of money every month.
Their service is just as good as the Sprint network, so it isn’t like you’re getting a cut rate coverage at Ting’s awesome price.
If you want to start saving money, sign up for Ting today! Your wallet will thank you!
Image by: aag.com Text added by: Lance Cothern